Greenhouse gas production from aquaculture
Global aquaculture accounted for around 0.49% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2017, approximately the same level as emissions derived from sheep meat production. These are findings from a recent study that quantified the global GHG emissions from aquaculture (excluding the production of aquatic plants). When emissions are measured per kilogram of food, aquaculture shows a lower emission intensity than meat from buffalo, cattle, goats and sheep, while the production of meat from pigs and chickens show a similar emission intensity as aquaculture.
The relatively low emission intensity of aquaculture was attributed to the absence of methane production in the digestive system of the fish, together with the high fertility of fish and their efficient conversion of feed into edible product.
Aquaculture production is an important part of global food security, and awareness of its contribution to GHG emissions and how to mitigate them is important for expanding aquaculture sustainably.